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Sovereign Military Order of Malta - Grand Master l'Isle Adam

Philippe Villiers de l'Isle Adam (1521-1534)

Last modified: 2013-06-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: sovereign and military order of malta | l'isle adam |
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image by Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 May 2007


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Description of flag

It is a quarterly divided flag. In the first and fourth quarters are the white Greek cross in a red field being the coat of arms of the order. In the second and third quarters are the coat of arms of Phillippe Villier de l'Isle Adam (1521-1534). There are two versions of that coat of arms of Isle Adam. In both the quarter is divided per fess blue over golden (=yellow). In the centre of the blue field is an outstretched arm pointing to the right side (hoist) dressed in a white robe of a priest, a white stole with a black cross hangs down from the hand. In version one the arm begins at the quarters left edge. This is the version as depicted in Elias Kollias: "Die Ritter von Rhodos", ISBN 960-213-244-2, Athens, p.19. In the other version, the arm does not extend to the edge of the blue field. I found a photo of a reprint of that flag hoisted during a fiesta in Senglea in a photo book about current Malta. I forgot the details of the book but I have a copy of that photo (see this image). A very poor black and white version of that flag you can also see in an image showing the great Carraca of Grandmaster Phillipe Villiers de l'Isle Adam in Joseph Ellul: "1565 Die große Belagerung von Malta", p.64
Klaus-Michael Schneider, 21 May 2007

He was the younger son of Jacques de Villiers, lord of l'Isle-Adam, a small town located west of Paris. In 1480, Grand Master Pierre d'Aubusson called him to Rhodes to help the garrison to repel the Turkiahs siege. In 1510, he won a naval battle against a big Egyptian fleet. Appointed Grand Master on 21 January 1521, he moved immediately to Rhodes, once again threatened by a Turkish siege. Suleiman the Munificent landed in June with 200,000 soldiers, to which the 600 knights and the 5,000 soldiers resisted for six months. Lacking support by the Christian states and betrayed by Commander Andréa d'Amaral, Philippe de Villiers negotiated an honourable surrender with the Turks. On 1 January 1523, led by the Grand Master, the 160 surviving knights and the inhabitants of the islands who did not want the Turkish rule left Rhodes. It took seven years until Emperor Charles V offered Malta to the knights, on 24 March 1530. Philippe de Villiers died in Malta on 21 August 1534. Suleiman the Munificent ordered the publication in all the mosques of the Ottoman empire of a panegyric saying: "Believers, learn from an infidel how you should do your duty until being admired and honoured by your enemies".
After the municipal website of L'Isle-Adam, http://www.ville-isle-adam.fr/decouvrir/index.php?p=15#villiers.

"Or a chief azure overall a dextrochere clothed and with a scarf ermine" are the arms of the lords of L'Isle-Adam, therefore the Grand Master quartered his own arms with the Order's cross, as usual.
According to Brian Timms, the municipal arms of L'Isle-Adam are: "Gules a tower triple turreted argent masoned sable pierced of the field on a bridge of four arches a champagne wavy of the second an inescutcheon or a chief azure overall a dexter arm clothed with a scarf ermine." The arms of the municipality of Domont are also the arms of the lords of L'Isle-Adam, differentiated by a canting mount vert. The commune of Villiers-Adam, Val-d'Oise, also bears the arms of the inescutcheon.

Ivan Sache, 21 May 2007


 
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